Excerpt: Tempted - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

When West Rycroft left his family’s ranch to work in the big city, he never dreamed he would find himself surrounded by celebrities and politicians. Working at McKay-Taggart as a bodyguard and security expert quickly taught him how to navigate the sometimes shark-infested waters of the elite. While some would come to love that world, West has seen enough to know it’s not for him, preferring to keep his distance from his clients—until the day he meets Ally Pearson.

Growing up in the entertainment world, Ally was always in the shadow of others, but now she has broken out from behind the scenes for her own day in the spotlight. The paparazzi isn’t fun, but she knows all too well that it’s part of the gig. She has a good life and lots of fans, but someone has been getting too close for comfort and making threats. To be safe, she hires her own personal knight in shining armor, a cowboy hottie by the name of West. They clash in the beginning, but the minute they fall into bed together something magical happens.

Just as everything seems too good to be true, they are both reminded that there was a reason Ally needed a bodyguard. Her problems have found her again, and this time West will have to put his life on the line or lose everything they’ve found.

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Excerpt: Tempted
By Lexi Blake

Excerpt: Tempted

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a story in her Masters and Mercenaries series. TEMPTED is out Tuesday, but you can read a sneak peek below!

“How about we discuss the reasons why Ally needs security?” Charlotte seemed determined to turn this whole thing around.

Exposition it was then. “A couple of years ago, I picked up a stalker.”

“Since the beginning of her career, she’s picked up four of what I would call credible threats,” her stepdad interjected. “Everyone who works in show business at our level has to deal with overzealous fans. These four went beyond that.”

“We disagree on that,” she countered, not wanting to overestimate the threat. “One of them was a mom who lost her daughter, and I look like her. She fixated on me. That was all.”

“She found your house,” her stepdad argued.

They weren’t going to have this fight in front of people they didn’t know. “And I handled her. The other two the police caught, and they haven’t bothered me again. That we know. Honestly, it could be one of those two men.”

“I’m sorry. The math isn’t adding up.” West had a pen in his hand again, so she figured she was talking about something he was actually interested in now. “You said four stalkers?”

“Mrs. Jackson wasn’t a stalker. She was a woman dealing with grief, and she’s getting help.” She wasn’t going to tell them that she personally was paying for the woman’s therapy. “Brian Hudson is in jail. Not for breaking into my place. He attacked a model.”

“Yes, and you were lucky it wasn’t you,” her stepdad said.

She ignored him. Nagging was one of his love languages, which was great because it was her mom’s primary language. “The other known stalker is a man who goes by JK Harris. He was a set designer, but he hasn’t worked in the last two years. I met him on a set a few years ago. It was my second film.”

Ready for Love?” Charlotte asked.

It was nice to have one person in the room who liked her. “Yeah. I was the gloomy best friend. It was actually a fun part. Anyway, I talked to the guy. When you’re on set, unless you’re some kind of huge star or some assholey method actor, you end up spending a lot of time with the crew. You get to be friends. Well, JK took it too far. He got drunk at one of the crew parties and got super handsy. I called him out, and he got fired. So I became the bitch who ruined his career.”

“Of course.” Charlotte’s eyes rolled. “I’ve heard that accusation a couple of times myself.”

“Oh, baby, you did not. You never ruined a career. You blew heads off.” Taggart winked his wife’s way. “No one complains after that. Have you thought about doing that, Ms. Pearson?”

Oh, they were a fun couple, and she wanted that story. “Every day. Did you do it up close or from a distance?”

Charlotte’s elegant shoulder shrugged. “It all depended on the job. I will tell you it’s far less messy from a distance.”

“Do we know where this JK Harris is? Also, who is the fourth stalker?” West seemed excellent at ignoring his elders, too.

“He disappeared a while back,” she admitted. “And that’s where things get interesting. The police think Harris is the one causing trouble, but I don’t think so. Harris’s letters were all full of threats, and he sent them through the mail. He liked to stand outside red-carpet events shouting about what a whore I was until he was escorted off the grounds. He didn’t send elaborate, horrifying art projects.”

“He could be escalating,” West offered.

“Or he could be someone new, hence the fourth stalker, who might or might not exist.” It was what she was afraid of. Like she needed another person who wanted to take her down a peg, who blamed her for their problems.

“West, if you were running the investigation portion of this case, where would you go from here?” Taggart asked. “You’re not, of course. Think of this as an academic exercise.”

Oh, she knew a teaching hospital when she saw one. Was she getting the newbie? That could be fun.

“I would ask Eve McKay for her opinion,” West replied. “I would request that Eve study the case reports and give me her thoughts on whether this is the same JK Harris or if she thinks we’re looking for another person.”

“Unsub.” See, this part was interesting. Or it would be if it also wasn’t horrifying because she was living through it. There was a reason she preferred fiction to real life. “We’re looking for an unsub. I once got through four rounds of auditions to play an FBI special agent who hunted serial killers. I did a ton of research and even wore a boring suit and everything, but they went with the brunette.”

“I told you to dye your hair,” her stepdad said.

He’d been right about that. Apparently, blondes made better victims than feds, according to the completely dickish casting director who’d offered to let her play a dead body. Naked, of course.



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